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The Vintage Collection

Darth Maul - TVC - Basic (VC86)

Name: Darth Maul
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC86
Source: The Phantom Menace
Availability: January 2012/September 2020
License: Hasbro

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Darth Maul is once again part of The Vintage Collection thanks to the multitude of repacks and repaints that made up the line’s second run. While Hasbro intended many of the repacks and repaints for the Fan Channel, most are instead arriving at retail for reasons that Hasbro poorly explains. Regardless, some of the repacks are welcomed additions to the line, even if they’re here for the second time. Darth Maul, initially released in a wave to support The Phantom Menace 3D marketing event, arrived at retail at the end of January in 2012. The figure was part of a wave of 12 new and repacked action figures supporting Episode I, and most collectors, whether liked The Phantom Menace or not, could admit that it was one of Hasbro’s most sufficient waves in a long time. The problem was that Hasbro’s forecasting was so far off for The Phantom Menace 3D event that this gorgeous wave of action figures forced The Vintage Collection to falter to the point of cancellation by the Fall of that year. Not only did they produce inordinate numbers of all twelve figures, the case assortments they arranged debilitated and crippled brick and mortar to the point that made it impossible for new case assortments with new figures arrive. The only figures we saw for months the dozen The Phantom Menace action figures. Even despite that trying time, most collectors still defend this wave. Had it only been produced in smaller numbers, meeting demand would have come much earlier, and the other new figures planned for the line wouldn’t have had such a difficult time getting into collectors’ hands. The character selection and quality of figures was NOT the problem here. One of the imperfect gems released in this wave was Darth Maul. Flawed because of some aesthetics issues, but overall, one of the most outstanding and most significant action figures in years. Hasbro produced Darth Maul with a super-articulated body and added premium articulation wherever possible. It was a beautiful action figure in 2012, and it’s still an excellent action figure in 2020.

We asked in 2012, “Where does one begin to speak of the magnificence of The Vintage Collection’s Darth Maul action figure? Should we be frustrated that Hasbro didn’t share the many new things they brought forward with us all in advance with this release? Or should we bask in the joy the figure will bring you in your Star Wars action figure collection?” We feel about the same eight years later. Hasbro should have bragged about this Darth Maul action figure more than they did in 2012. But the figure still has a few areas of wonkiness that Hasbro neglected to correct. The horns are too big and sloppily painted. The new Photo Real deco could improve, but samples we’ve seen show it not applied correctly. The muted red used to decorate the figure’s face feels like it should be a screen-accurate upgrade, yet feels off on the action figure. And the molded hood should have never been brought back from the dead because it’s one of the worst accessories ever paired with an action figure that we’ve ever seen. The soft-goods cloak this time around feel more superior to the touch, but we can’t say if it’s better or not. The belt is still installed backward on the figure, and this error borders on humorous now. The “cummerbund” needs to be spun around to the figure’s front to be authentic to what we see in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Back in 2011, early production samples of Darth Maul leaked out before this figure officially arrived in stores for purchase. And while some of the commentaries were accurate, others were not. Despite the figure’s imperfections, Darth Maul unequivocally remains the definitive action figure version of Darth Maul. And while it’s now unlikely that Hasbro will tweak some of the small issues that haven’t been updated, we hope one more revision will happen before all is said and done. Regardless, Darth Maul will stand the test of time, and we couldn’t be prouder of their efforts to bring a fantastic figure like this to the basic figure line, both in 2012 and once again in 2020. You could find Darth Maul on store pegs for $9.99, and now you’ll most likely find the figure online for $12.99 or higher. Times have changed.

This iteration will be the go-to Darth Maul figure for every display, every diorama, and every collector’s collection. Darth Maul has it all. Great use of soft-goods blended seamlessly with the sculpted parts, and the expression on his face couldn’t be more impressive. Let’s look at this figure up closely. Appreciate the Photo Real updates. And count all of those accessories. You get a lot of stuff here for $12.99 now. Darth Maul comes with 25 points of articulation across 14 areas. Hasbro included the many enhancements that collectors waited years to have in this character’s action figure. In particular, we are referring to three specific points. Hasbro gave Darth Maul a ball-jointed waist, ball-jointed elbows, and most excitingly, ball-jointed hips. The newly added ball-jointed hips are some of the most functional in the Star Wars action figure line, generally speaking. The ball-jointed elbows are exciting to finally have after being plagued for years with the 2005 Revenge Of The Sith Evolutions Darth Maul sculpt. (We don’t mean to sound ungrateful – it was a great sculpt at the time of its initial release. But it’s now become obsolete.) In all honesty, they don’t have a full range of motion that you might expect. The ball-jointed torso is an exciting update. It gives you a little more playing room, but it isn’t the most versatile articulation point we’ve come across. You may become a bit disappointed by this. If Hasbro went this far to include them, why not go “all the way” with them? Still, it beats out previous versions of Darth Maul because the swivel cut elbow joints on the Evolutions sculpt was something they did in 2005. It’s time for a positive change. The head sculpt is fantastic. We think that the color red used to decorate his face is a little off, but you’ll immediately notice how well it works thanks to precise tattoo markings and the organic horns on his head. Oh, and those horns. You probably have already heard that they look too chunky for the figure’s head, and this sentiment is mostly true. You don’t notice a constant disproportion at every angle.

Darth Maul’s mouth is closed, but the “angry eyes” solidify that this Darth Maul is ready to damage some willing Jedi prepared to duel. One thing we don’t like the position of the head. Although attached via a ball-socket, it always seems to be in a downward position. The left-arm has the Sith probe droid caller permanently painted on it, so you’ll have to come to accept that. But we understand if it’s a big deal for collectors. As mentioned earlier, Darth Maul comes with the belt assembled backward, but with a little bit of grit and elbow grease, you can easily swing it around and get it in the correct position. You’ll find the belt in both positions in our Photo Gallery. Hasbro included multiple soft-good types for Darth Maul. The skirt portions are cut from the same fabric that Hasbro added to past action figures, and Hasbro added this shiny/satiny material in layers. In our opinion, the fabric is too shiny. But for cheap material, Hasbro worked it into Darth Maul well by giving it the perfect length, and it has a lovely drape. You’ll notice it hugs the body closely without inhibiting viable movement, especially the ball-jointed hips. The best soft-goods here is the outer cloak. It looks like a cotton version of wool crepe, and airy to the touch. It has all of the necessary frayings, and Hasbro added darts to ensure a fitted look when the Darth Maul figure wears it. The only issue is that it isn’t accurate to the costume Darth Maul wore in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The cloak included here looks rougher, and the one in the film seems more refined with a subtle vertically pleated pattern running down the front. Darth Maul is well-accessorized. Also included are macrobinoculars that the figure can hold, and finally, we have all-new lightsaber accessories! Hasbro added the double-bladed lightsaber’s hilt and then the lit double-bladed lightsaber that is two separate pieces that connect in the middle. They look fantastic! And it was only a matter of time, but we come to the most disappointing part of the figure: the removable hood. It doesn’t fit around the head well at all, and when you fully assemble the action figure, it looks too big and out of place. Despite any problems, it’s exciting that we finally have our long-awaited Darth Maul action figure.

Editor's Note: Hasbro re-released The Vintage Collection Darth Maul (VC86) figure in September 2020 with a significant number of changes. Updates include: (1) "photorealistic" deco, (2) lighter muted complexion (3) differently textured soft-goods cloak, (4) refreshed 2020 packaging with different graphics, (5) different shade of blue for figure backer and name "pill," and (6) different placement of action figure and accessories in bubble

Review Status Update: The original publication date of this review is January 1, 2012. It was subsequently updated with a new Photo Gallery and revised General Analysis and republished on September 9, 2020 after Hasbro reissued the figure.

Collector Notes

Darth Maul

Status: Darth Maul is an all-new figure. Hasbro re-released the figure in 2020 with significant changes.

Articulation Count: 25 points (14 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left forearm (1), swivel right forearm (1), ball-jointed torso (2), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 6

Accessory Details: removable hood, soft-goods cloak, macrobinoculars, lightsaber hilt, double-bladed lit lightsaber (2 parts)

Date Stamp: 2011

Packaging Details:

Card Back: The Phantom Menace

Name: Darth Maul

Year: 2020

Assortment Number: E9575/E7763

UPC: 5010993749560

Retail: $12.99 USD

Card Back: The Phantom Menace

Name: Darth Maul

Year: 2012

Assortment Number: 37509/37499

UPC: 653569723905

Retail: $9.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.















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Darth Maul (VC86)

Added: January 1, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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